(Closed) When guests do not bring gifts to the wedding

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 61
Member
1188 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

If it makes you feel better, I had 4 different people not give a card/gift for my wedding  OR my baby shower (these four people came to both, didn’t give anything at either). And my wedding was only 65 guests, baby shower was 25. Our shower was co-ed, and almost entirely couples, so of course we got one gift from most couples, but that’s not what I’m talking about. 

The kicker? Two of the people are my Mother-In-Law & Father-In-Law. They’re extremely well off. I don’t really get it. Oh well!

 

Post # 62
Member
14155 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Related to the topic of guest obligation and mentioned on this thread a number of times is the question of handwritten wishes. As a separate matter from gifts, a handwritten note or card is always a nice touch, but no, it is not obligatory. The confusion may come from the fact that it is the minimum that is expected of people who receive a wedding announcement or who are invited to a wedding, but do not attend. 

For those who do, the wishes are conveyed in the most personal way possible, in person. Many people save letters and cards for the sentiment, and of course they are appreciated, but they are not a requirement. 

As mentioned earlier, traditional etiquette considers a gift extremely customary and contemporary etiquette deems them obligatory. From Emily Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sending-a-wedding-card-rules_us_562e820fe4b0c66bae58f096

“First, I love that you already sent this couple a wedding present. As for mailing or bringing a card to the wedding: No, it isn’t necessary. But it’s perfectly OK and very thoughtful to do so — especially if you feel the small, computer-printed message sent with your registry gift wasn’t enough. For the record, those are enough, but the additional handwritten note on a thoughtfully selected card is a lovely extra to receive on the wedding day. I know I loved opening a pile of cards that guests brought to mine — including ones from guests who had already sent a gift to my husband and me.”

Post # 63
Member
749 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

I wouldn’t dream of going to a wedding without at least a card, but probably a gift. However, that’s my personality. If you have me over for dinner I’ll show up with no less than a bottle of wine and probably some flowers. I enjoy giving.

As a bride, it didn’t bother me one bit when we had a couple of guests not gift. It was truly our wish that all the people we love most were able to just come, eat, drink, and be merry. We wanted to make our guests feel as important as they are to us. That’s what we did. 

We enjoyed the gifts we got, but honestly, once the thank you notes were written, we didn’t keep a tally of who brought what. Sure, when we use the waffle iron from Aunt Deb or the china from our parents we always smile and we know that’s who got it for us, but we don’t run around the kitchen thinking…alright so these people are exempt but we still need to call X, Y, and Z people and let them know we know they didn’t give us anything. That is petty as all get out and while it’s considered poor manners to show up with no gift, I am 100% sure it’s worse to call someone out on it. 

I’d tell your friend to be gracious in thanking those who brought gifts/cash, and to not mention anything to those who didn’t (unless in a case of they say they sent a gift and it got lost…but that’s unlikely). 

Post # 64
Member
157 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: Beach

View original reply
oceangirl40 :  You said it better than I did. Good point!

Post # 65
Member
5778 posts
Bee Keeper

I’m just going to go out on a limb here and say I expect gifts. lol and I’ll bet many people who say they don’t expect gifts are liars, liars pants on fire tongue-out 

It’s just- to quote Sheldon from TBBT- the ‘social convention’ to say you don’t expect gifts. But it’s a freaking wedding, I don’t expect you to spend your kid’s college fund on us or buy a gift that’s way beyond your budget, but it’s the thought that counts and not even showing up with a card or a handmade gift isn’t putting much thought into it at all. People who routinely show up at events without so much as a card seem self-involved IMO, a rather blasé indifference to extending an effort toward others. As a few others have said, I wouldn’t even show up at a birthday or backyard BBQ without something. Even when I was a struggling university student, even when I was a single mom- I would handmake a gift or buy inexpensive items like a scented candle. If I didn’t have a dollar for a dollar store greeting card, I’d make a card ffs. 

Post # 66
Member
817 posts
Busy bee

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RobbieAndJuliahaha :  This! When you’re invited to an event, you bring something. I fully expect everyone who shows up to my wedding to at least bring/send a nice card. Sue me.

If they didn’t, I’d think it was weird but I’d also just shrug it off and not say anything about it. There are more important things to worry about.

Post # 67
Member
136 posts
Blushing bee

I am totally baffled by this thread. The people I invited to my wedding are making a huge effort in time+travel to be at my celebration. Never in a million years would I hold it against them their lack of gift. A gift is such a nice surprise! Some of them have a little extra cash or like to show care through gifting, others I know are just trying to keep on a budget. Maybe it is so very cultural- my family had birthdays and parties all the time. So few gifts were given. People’s company, time and effort were the gift. 

This thread is so funny because there are so many others of people offended for receiving an invitation with the registry information. So you want gifts but don’t want to direct your guests to where they buy gifts and make the process much easier? 

Post # 68
Member
352 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

We had 75 guests and about 5 of them didn’t bring anything (gift/card/etc.). It annoyed me at first because we fully hosted our guests and it was hurtful to not receive a card celebrating our big day. However, in the end I just let it go because it wasn’t worth my energy.

FWIW, I personally prefer cards to gifts because they seem more heartfelt. DH recently lost his aunt and one of the cards we received was from her and her husband with a note from her before she passed. That was the best thing we could have received and it left DH in tears.

Post # 69
Member
54 posts
Worker bee

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sweatergal007 :  There are a bunch of WB ettitque things that I don’t subscribe to completely, but this is the only one that I flat out disagree with. If someone took time out of their life to celebrate such a special day with me (especially people who are flying, spending hundreds of dollars, using their vacation time), I’m gonna send them a thank you card!

Post # 70
Member
6185 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
missbee16 :  That’s what I was thinking!! I wouldn’t think that someone was asking for gifts when I got a thank you card. And people that know me should know that I think!

Post # 71
Member
14155 posts
Honey Beekeeper

View original reply
sweatergal007 :  The etiquette convention is that thank you notes are for gifts, not attendance. The couple is obliged to thank each person for coming at the reception itself, either by way of a receiving line, going to the tables, etc. Actually, it’s the guest who is supposed to call or write to thank the host for the lovely reception, not the other way around. You should never delay your thank you notes in order to include a photo. People just want an acknowledgement that their gift was received and appreciated.  

I disagree that there are not people who could see a thanks for coming note as passive aggressive. If someone has not yet given a gift or is not able, they may feel extra sensitive and as if they are getting a pointed reminder. The whole point behind conventions like these is so that everyone is on the same page. 

Post # 72
Member
457 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

I think it just depends. we only had one couple (out of 125) not bring a gift or card. We mostly got money. 

Post # 73
Member
729 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

View original reply
samira86 :  Giving a gift after the wedding is still giving a gift! 🙂

Post # 74
Member
9565 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

I still have gifts coming in recently and we’re practically on our one year anniversary. It is so beyond bratty to worry about the few who don’t give you something. It’s not your God given right even if it is customary. I invited people because I wanted them to witness and celebrate with us, not for present collection and I really mean that. 

Post # 75
Member
729 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Out of 80 guests, we had three couples not give a gift or card (our wedding was two years ago). A lot of our guests did not bring their gift (card with a check) to our wedding, but mailed it shortly after. We did not receive any gifts later on. I had prepared myself not to receive a gift from everyone, so I was actually impressed it was only 3 couples. I still found it a bit hurtful, these couples also did not sign the guest book or anything, so it felt a little bit like they felt they were doing us a favor. Besides these slightly hurt feelings, I still was happy to have them there and it has not negatively affected our relationship. I guess I do remember so I probably wouldn’t be overly generous with any of them in the future, but I still like them all as people. 

We had one distant cousin of DH’s who was not invited to our wedding (just because we didn’t know her that well) and she gave us a nice card and gift, which I thought was incredibly sweet (and then I felt bad for not inviting her!). 

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